VitaDAO is an Exciting Non-Profit that Funds Innovative Longevity Research.
While the decentralised technology of VitaDao is confusing – but their mission is clear.
The good news is that you don’t need to understand Dao structures, decentralised voting rights or tokenised ownership to get involved. The key benefit of VitaDao is not how they fund – but what projects.
Grants are being made to innovative projects that would not be able to raise money through the regular channels (banks, VC, and grants). This gives teams with new angles, unique technology, and breakthrough ideas a way to get started.
The technology is brilliant.
VitaDao takes bets on teams thinking about life-extension in fresh new ways.
Not all those bets will pay off. That is the nature of research. If only a handful gain traction, a group of people that don’t know each other will have jointly contributed to moving the field forward.
That was impossible until just a few years ago.
Starting with the Projects: How VitaDAO Funds are Already Working
Most explainers start with the dry details of Dao structures, voting rights and tokens.
I’m approaching this topic from the other direction, starting with the projects, then explaining the technology afterwards. There are 13 current projects. VitaDao has detailed explainers of each. Here is a one-liner, providing a simple overview of the diverse projects already funded.
Reversing Periodontal Disease using Geroscience Project: Led by Dr. Jonathan An and Matt Kaeberlein, this project is investigating the root causes of periodontal disease. $192,925 VitaDao grant.
ApoptoSENS Project: Led by Dr Amit Sharma, this project will develop Natural Killer cells to target and eliminate senescent cells. $253,000 VitaDao grant.
Turn Biotechnology: CEO Anja Kramer. Preclinical testing of a unique mRNA payload delivery system based on lipid nanoparticles for use in epigenic reprogramming. $1,000,000 VitaDao grant.
Scheibye-Knudsen Lab: Research lead, Morten Scheibye-Knudsen. A clinical trial in fruit flies of prescription drugs that are isolated from more than a billion prescriptions using machine learning. $250,000 VitaDao grant.
Mitophagy Activators in Alzheimer’s: Led by Evendro Fang. Impaired recycling of mitochondria as a driver of Alzheimer’s investigated using a combination of AI and a wet lab. $300,000 VitaDao grant.
Rubedo.Life: CEO Marco Quarta. A proprietary drug discovery platform to discover engineered small molecules that selectively target specific cells. $350,000 VitaDao grant.
Hyperspectral Imaging for Alzheimer’s Disease: Early detection of amyloid, via a unique eye camera to spot Alzheimer’s before memory loss occurs. EUR300,000 VitaDao grant.
Clinical Trials, Senolytics and Even a Film
Korolchuk Lab: Research lead, Viktor Korolchuk. Autophagy inducing drug discovery, focusing on lysosomal disfunction. $285,000 VitaDao grant.
Rapamycin Clinical Trial: Research lead, Dr Brad Stanfield. Investigating whether exercise and Rapamycin cycling will improve muscle performance in adults. $50,000 grant.
Repair Biotechnology: CEO, Reason (from lifespan.io). Preclinical development of a therapy which breaks down LDL clearance using macrophages. $50,000 VitaDao grant.
DNA in Age Related Proteostasis: Principal investigators Marco di Antonio and John Labbadia. Investigating specific gene functions in age related protein misfolding. $50,000 VitaDao grant.
Cellular Soap for Infectious Disease Accelerated Aging: Research lead, Tim Peterson. Investigating FDA approved drugs as Senolytics and enhancing their function. $231,000 VitaDao grant.
Longevity Hackers Film: Featuring Michal Siewierski. Documentary showcasing experts, researchers, and celebrities to bring awareness to the field. $100,000 grant.
Here is a preview / trailer for the documentary:
VitaDAO: How the Money is Raised and Spent
Let’s start with a definition, especially for those of us that are not naturally tech-savvy.
DAO: This stands for ‘Decentralised Autonomous Organisation.’
Think of it as a community, owned fully by members and without a centralised leadership structure. Financial records and rules of how the community operate are encoded on a blockchain.
Tokens called $VITA are awarded to members that make financial contributions.
This is an ownership stake. Rather than a speculative cryptocurrency it is an NFT (non-fungible token), that proves part ownership of the community and its resources.
VitaDao uses the money raise for sales of the tokens to fund research projects. The IP it gets in return is owned by all members. Members get to vote on which projects get funded.
Get Involved in VitaDao
You’ll find a video on the VitaDao website explaining the process from start to finish.
I will join when my finances allow – and will update this page with how it went navigating the technology.
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